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A night of literacy, learning at Zane Grey with OHIO Zanesville education students

Ohio University Zanesville Early Childhood and Elementary Education program students were invited to attend the annual Family Literacy Night at Zane Grey Elementary and Intermediate schools on Feb. 29.

Future teachers from OHIO Zanesville were invited to participate in this event, designed to celebrate and foster a love for reading.  More than 160 elementary students participated in Family Literacy Night.   

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Dr. Teri Peasley, associate professor of instruction, saw this as an opportunity for juniors and seniors in her Social Studies Methods class to explore the importance of community engagement. The event provided the Zanesville campus students with an insider’s view of how schools support children and families in creative ways. The education students embraced the experiential learning opportunity, crafting interactive experiences tailored to each grade level's chosen author. They engaged the young students and their families in hands-on educational activities designed for preschool to fifth grade such as sensory bins, relay races, and painting pet rocks.

Dr. Peasley said the event aligned with her Social Studies Methods course goals, emphasizing the real-world application of teaching strategies and the importance of civic engagement.

 Through hands-on activities, her students gained invaluable insights into the practical aspects of teaching and the significance of literacy in social studies education.

Zanesville - Literacy Grads

Emily Brady, a fifth grade English language arts teacher and literacy coach at Zane Grey, and a proud OHIO Zanesville alumna, praised the partnership. She shared, “Partnering with Ohio University Zanesville was a no-brainer. We have so many alumni, including myself, who work here at Zane Grey. We want to extend these community engagement opportunities to future teachers from OUZ, so they can begin to build relationships with families in our area, as well as teachers and administrators at our school. The students from OUZ who were involved in our event went above and beyond anything we could have asked for. They used their passion for literacy and children to create amazing and engaging activities and games for our students. We are so grateful for their hard work and the dedication they put forth for our event. We cannot thank them, Dr. Peasley and Mrs. Kelnhofer enough for making this partnership happen!”

Zanesville - Literacy Swope

OHIO Zanesville students Zoey Shearer and Olivia Swope reflected on their experiences, underscoring the event's role in honing their teaching skills and the importance of community involvement. Their testimonials reveal the profound personal and professional growth opportunities afforded by participating in Family Literacy Night.

Junior early childhood education major Zoey Shearer said, “The opportunity we were given to participate in literacy night at Zane Grey was such a wonderful experience for not only myself, but my classmates, professors, and all the children involved. This gave us an opportunity to practice our teaching skills while also helping guide the learning of the children we engaged and interacted with. This was such a fun experience and showed me what great things we can accomplish and achieve when we come together as a community for a good cause!”

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Senior early childhood and elementary education major Olivia Swope shared similar sentiments. “As a future educator, I believe it is extra important to show up and get involved within the community where you live or teach. It’s an opportunity for us to teach civic engagement by example. At events like Zane Grey’s Literacy Night, we are modeling for students how to be present and dedicate time to something that is important. We are also sending the message to students that they are important and that there are people in their community who care. While laughing and playing, I learned the simple importance of being present in my community. It can often feel like we need to do things on a large scale for them to matter. It’s the little things right here in our small town that matter just as much. Simply showing up, showing that you care, and making people feel important is a big deal. Small ripples can make big waves.” 

The annual Family Literacy Night at Zane Grey emerged not just as an event but as a beacon of community collaboration, educational innovation, and the joy of literacy. It stands as a powerful reminder of the impact educators and future educators can have when they come together to inspire and engage the next generation.

Learn more about the education program and other academic programs available at OHIO Zanesville by visiting To set up a campus visit to enroll please visit

April 19, 2024
Staff Reports